Thursday, 27 June 2013

What I've been reading

Image of the book cover

The Silver Spoon
by John Galsworthy
"Living in their elegant, fashionable house in Westminster, Fleur and Michael Mont mix with and entertain the glittering society characters of the day. But London after the war is a place of carefree, 'live for today' attitudes which are alarming and baffling to old Soames."
My reviews of the Forsyte saga are becoming repetitive - what else can I say about how good this writer is, and how surprisingly comparable are his accounts of early twentieth century with contemporary life? This is the fifth of the series, so there are just four more to go, and it will be a sad day when I finish the series, as long as the quality remains this high.

Image of the book cover

Montmorency: Thief, Liar, Gentleman?
by Eleanor Updale

narrated by Stephen Fry
"Fleeing across a roof on a dark night in Victorian London, a thief crashes through a glass skylight to almost certain death. But an ambitious young doctor revives and reconstructs his shattered body, proudly showing off his handiwork at the Scientific Society. It is there that the robber picks up the key to a new existence, and on his release from prison begins to lead a double life."
It was Stephen Fry that did it - I trusted him, and he let me down. I thought that the identity of the narrator suggested a quality read. Maybe it was a classic of its time, but in terms of passing the time on long car journeys, it doesn't cut the mustard. The eponymous hero ends the book in vaguely heroic vein, but I can't accept his transformation to saviour of the nation given the deliberate and heartless criminality of the rest of the story. Mr Fry - you must have needed the money.

Image of the book cover

Death at the President's Lodging
by Michael Innes

narrated by Stephen Hogan
"Inspector Appleby is called to St Anthony's College, where the president has been murdered in his lodging. Scandal abounds when it becomes clear that the only people with any motive to murder him are the only people who had the opportunity - because the President's Lodging opens off Orchard Ground, which is locked at night, and only the Fellows of the College have keys."
Another book recommended to me, the second I've read by this author but the first book he wrote in the series. He was pretty prolific in his output, and the other one I read was written 32 years after this one. I imagine the print version has a map (as the best murder mysteries do), but even without one I could still make sense of it. My concentration on the 'reveal' at the end made me miss my turning off the A46, because the solution to the mystery was a bit more complicated than I was expecting. So reading this book almost made me late for work.

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